They ended up at her apartment, both too shaken to remain in the office. She took the tape from him and headed toward her VCR.
"Scully, I can't watch that, not again."
"If you haven't seen it all, you don't know what happened. That's assuming they didn't edit it."
"I saw enough." He sank onto her couch.
"Mulder, please. You can do this with me. It's evidence, concentrate on that. Please."
He sighed and wouldn't face her, but nodded. She put the tape in and picked up the remote. She sat on the couch close to him and took his hand. She squeezed the hand lightly and pressed play.
They watched in silence for a couple of minutes, then he jerked his hand from hers and turned away. "No, Scully."
She pressed pause. "Mulder, look at the tape." She had to remain clinical about this. He was going over the edge. "Look. You are completely vulnerable to me there. If I had wanted to stop you, I could have. Can't you see that?"
She turned his face to hers. His eyes were so bleak. "Doesn't the fact that it never crossed my mind to injure you in order to stop you mean anything?"
"That you're a better person than I am. I certainly didn't hesitate to injure you."
"You didn't injure me. I could have used a little more preparation, but we've already discussed that. You are an impressive male." Good lord, the man was actually blushing.
"Oh god, Mulder, you're not going to apologize for that too, are you?"
"I don't know what to say to you."
"Then watch the rest of the tape, Mulder. See what really happened. Please?"
He gave the barest of nods and after looking closely at him, she took his hand back and started the tape again. As he watched, he saw that she was responding, no longer fighting but actively participating. His breath became shallow. When she came and called out his name he gasped and watched as he cried out her name. He watched as he settled her up against him and slept, with her arm around him, holding him closer.
"Mulder? Do I need to explain anything that happened there?" She was barely smiling and leaned toward him to wipe the sweat from his upper lip.
He shook his head as one tear escaped and ran down his face.
"Oh, Mulder. Please . . . " she pulled him into her arms and let him cry. "Its okay. That's what really happened, you finally came to me. Please don't let this destroy you, us."
"Are . . . are you . . .? You should be disgusted with me, hate me."
"No, Mulder. I know the truth about what happened. I'm just not sure what to do about the tape."
"We need to make sure our kids never see it." He muttered this, but she heard him.
"Why not, you've already given me one miracle today."
"I meant how to make certain no one in authority sees it." He shuddered, no matter how many videos he had watched himself, it had never entered his mind to be involved in one. And to have Scully, this beautiful, pure woman to be a victim of this. He shook his head in defeat.
"Stop it, Mulder. Don't go down that path again. I forbid it. This happened to both of us and we'll live with it, whatever happens. Please, come here." She drew him into her arms. This had damaged him, much more than it had her she realized. She was actually afraid to let him leave.
They sat is silence for a few minutes, thinking their own thoughts. He finally stirred, almost shaking himself. "I need to get out of here."
"No. We still have work to do."
"What?" He asked, but he didn't look like he cared.
"The investigation we started last night." He looked puzzled then, "On foreplay. I'm confident we only scratched the surface last night." Now he was staring at her.
"You don't have to - "
She stood then, leaning slightly over him. "Do you think I don't want to?" Her voice sounded . . . smoky. She'd never used that voice with him before. Was this really the way she felt? She really didn't hate him? The opposite couldn't be true. He didn't deserve this - he should be in jail. But she was acting like this!
"Mulder?" She was reaching for his hand. Should he stay? There was no measure to how much better off she would be without him. "Mulder, don't leave. I want you here."
He relaxed enough to take her hand then and she tugged him to his feet. "Scully?"
"Come with me. You're not leaving. We both have a lot left to learn about each other and I want to start that tonight."
After a great deal of foreplay investigation, they finally got some sleep.
"Dana? Dr. Richards here. I've had that blood analyzed and the combination of drugs we found was a little strange. We found traces of chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone and a common tranquilizer. I'm not sure what the combination would do. There were some other chemicals but the cocktail was too complex for the amount of blood we had. I hope that helps you.
"Yes, Dr. Richards, it does. Could that combination cause a lowering of inhibitions?"
"Oh yes, with a heightened sense of, well. . . "
"The person could have been sexually uninhibited."
"And able to, uh to. . . "
"Hardly able not to, Dana. This person would not be responsible for his actions and it's hardly the kind of thing that would be self-administered."
"Thank you, Dr. Richards. If you could send me your findings, I'll make certain they are included in our investigation."
"Of course. I hope no one was harmed . . .?"
"No, the person injected was the only victim fortunately. Thank you, Dr. Richards, I'll be in touch."
She hung up and turned to Mulder who was shaking his head. "I was the only victim?"
She chose to ignore that. "You're off the hook. The injection was the catalyst. Our closeness supplied the rest. We can document it in court or in front of an internal review panel if it ever came to that. But who?"
"Could you identify the man at the airport?"
She paused a moment. "Possibly. I'd need to get on it right away. But Mulder, who would want you in this kind of trouble, you could. . . " She glanced over at him and the incredulous look on his face almost provoked a laugh. "Okay, which of our enemies would go this far?"
"I'm not sure where to start. Let's try to do the composite." He booted up the program on the computer and they began. Between them they came up with a drawing fairly quickly.
"I'll take this up to Skinner. I'd like to see what he can find."
"Are you going to explain the drugs to him?"
"Yes. We need to keep him apprised. He's our supervisor; any charges have to come through him. I want to make sure he knows the truth." Mulder nodded, Skinner did need to know most of the truth. Some things, however, were still none of his business.
It was the next day before Skinner appeared at their office. "I need you to look at this." He handed a photo to Scully. "Is this the man at the airport?"
She stared at the photo, then nodding handed it to Mulder. "Dead?"
"Very. Shot execution-style and found in an alley. They haven't identified him, he doesn't seem to be in any database and his prints are missing - from his body. So the ID is going to be hard. He must have been the messenger."
Mulder tossed the photo down on the desk, nodding.
After Skinner had left Mulder sat silent for a minute. "Mulder? I can hear the wheels turning."
"Do you smell Krycek?"
"In this?" She leaned toward him. "Tell me what you're thinking."
"I don't know." He looked up at the ceiling. "Mostly it's a feeling. This is the kind of thing he'd get a kick out of. Even if it didn't get me out of the Bureau. He'd enjoy trying to hurt you, destroy me. He would certainly know exactly where I'm most vulnerable, and to cause you pain would be icing on the cake."
She thought about it. He was probably right, she was used to him making connections before most people were aware there were connections to be made. Of course, having Krycek see that tape . . . She wasn't aware that the color had risen on her face.
"Scully." She looked up at him and knew he was following her thoughts. He said nothing but the mixture of pain and fear on his face said enough.
She shook her head and gave him a sad smile. "It's okay."
"No, it's not. I've wanted to get that bastard for a long time, but now - now I want him dead. If I can prove he did this . . . "
"You'll have to stand in line, Mulder." She said it lightly, but he heard the truth of her words. On some level she was okay when she was with him, but for the rest of the world to know, to see, what had happened between them. It would eat at her, at their relationship, and destroy them. He had to get his hands on whatever else existed.
"I'm taking you home."
"It's early," she protested.
"I don't think we can accomplish that much more here today." After a moment she nodded and rose.
He was watching a movie, or rather sitting in front of one, while she read leaning against him. Suddenly he rose and stood over her, as she looked up startled. "I don't . . . I shouldn't ask . . . Scully, I want to make love to you."
She smiled up at him, "Good. That's what I want too." She reached up for him and he took her hand, drawing her up to him, against him. Her arms went around him, how could she make him understand she was happy with this new phase of their relationship? She led him to the bed and pushed him down on it, then proceeded to strip quickly and join him on the bed even as he was still shucking his own clothing.
While Mulder was distracted, Scully grasped his erection in her hand, pulling him to where she wanted him to be. Arching up she managed to get his tip inside her and felt him moan against her neck.
With one thrust he was inside her. Home.
Opening herself as wide as possible, Scully dug her fingers into his ass, pushing him deeper and deeper inside her. It didn't take him long to get the hint and he pulled her legs up to her chest, changing the angle and the depth of his penetration.
He could feel her body stretching to take him in, clenching around him to keep him there and it felt like . . . well it felt like nothing that he could describe. Her breathy moans and pleas for him to move faster, to go deeper were making him crazy and he knew if she didn't get there soon, he wasn't going to make it.
Ahhh, Mulder just there, just like that, Scully thought, her voice unable to make the sensible sounds, replacing them with a low pitched moan. She reached up and grabbed his face, pulling him down to meet her in a kiss. Then she was coming, her cries swallowed up in Mulder's mouth.
Mulder groaned into Scully's mouth as he felt her tighten around him in climax and it was just enough to push him over with her. He thrust convulsively, once, twice, three times before sprawling bonelessly over her. The little voice at the back of his mind told him to roll away before he smothered Scully but the circle of her arms around his middle halted his attempts at movement.
"Stay inside me" she whispered, holding him close. As though he would ever willingly leave her body.
When he finally collapsed beside her, he maintained his grip kissing her hair. Even now not willing to loosen his hold on her. As she drifted off it crossed her mind that this time had been different. That was nonsense, they hadn't been together enough to know every move, every motivation. She cuddled in closer and allowed herself the luxury of feeling safe in his arms.
She woke and immediately reached for him. Not there. She opened her eyes and looked toward the bathroom. The light was off and she didn't hear the shower. No smell of coffee either. What was going on?
She hurried into the living room belting her robe. Where was he? She glanced into the kitchen and a white square on the table caught her eye.
"Scully" it read, "There's something I have to do. I suppose you have a case for me ditching you again, but I have to do this. We can't be together, not really, until this is done. I love you - I hope to earn the right to someday. Mulder."
The paper drifted from her hand, "Damn you Mulder, why can't you listen to me, just once!"
She hurried to dress and got to the office before rush hour had a chance to tie up traffic. She booted up his computer rather than her own to see if she could determine what he had discovered. After an hour she threw the stapler across the room in frustration. Nothing! Whatever he'd found, he'd kept no record here. Damn him!
Scully made up her mind and headed for the elevator. Skinner was at Angie's desk when she approached. One look at her face was enough. "Please hold my calls, Angie." He held the door and closed it behind her. "What's he done now?"
"He's gone after Krycek."
"He's convinced Krycek in behind this, this . . . "
"He could be right, Mulder knows him better than we do."
"But I should be helping him! He's gone off alone, he needs me."
Rather than comment on that statement Skinner moved her toward a chair and poured her a cup of coffee. "Thanks."
He nodded and sat beside her. "How do you know that's what he's doing?"
"He left me a note."
"May I see it?"
"Uh, no. It's at my apartment." He took in the color staining her cheeks and dropped it.
"Listen, he'll check in. He always does eventually. It's you he'll call, not official channels. Keep your phone on and let me know what you hear. In the meantime I'll do a little searching of my own. Don't worry Scully, Agent Mulder is a big boy. Keep me up to date."
She nodded. She knew he was right and would do as he suggested, except for that part about not worrying. That wasn't going to happen.
It had been three nerve-racking days. She'd been totally ineffective in finding out anything. She'd almost drawn her weapon on Byers in her frustration. Skinner had been just as unsuccessful. This was a nightmare - they'd finally been together; now she didn't know if she'd ever see him again.
She got ready for bed, not sure if she'd sleep any tonight either. Damn him for putting her through this.
She was reaching for the light switch when she heard the knock. She looked through the peephole before fumbling with the deadbolt and flinging the door open. She fairly launched herself at him and his arms closed around her as he managed to keep his footing. He moved them inside; shoving the door closed with his foot, not willing to disturb what she was doing with his lips.
He sensed her draw away from him, but before he could open his eyes felt the stinging slap of her hand across his face. "How dare you! How dare you go off alone for this and put yourself in danger." Before he could respond she had buried her face in his chest and was moving against him. His body was responding rapidly to her onslaught.
"Scully, wait. Not . . . not now." He led her to the couch and seated her, taking his own place at the far end of the couch. "We need to talk." She nodded, waiting for him to speak this time.
"I found him."
"I have friends in low places and they owed me."
"Did you . . .?"
"No. I stopped short of cold-blooded murder. But he might have wished I hadn't. There was great satisfaction in ripping his prosthesis off and beating him half to death with it." Scully made no comment but she didn't attempt to hide the gleam in her eyes.
"I was right. He was freelancing. He'd set himself up in a video-pirating scam to get hold of the equipment he needed. He'd made copies of our video, but hadn't sent them. I guess he was waiting to see what I'd do. I did commit another felony. I'm getting good at them. Arson this time. I soaked his equipment room and tapes with gasoline and watched them burn. The original was in the duplicator, he was in no shape to lie and I checked anyway. When the fire was good and roaring, I dragged him outside, stuffed a pirated copy of Star Wars in his pants and called 911 from his cell phone. Then I took off.
"Where were you?"
"Near the Canadian border, upstate Pennsylvania. I came straight here. You've got the only copy of the tape now." He handed her a book of matches. "I thought you'd want to destroy it yourself."
"Want to watch it one last time?"
"Not even the end of it?" She was teasing him, damn it. This wasn't funny to him, that damn tape had almost ruined his life, of course it had also recorded the beginning of it too. She felt him relax slightly beside her. "Of course, we could just recreate the scene with no changes, I can't say improvements because I don't think there could be any."
"Burn the tape, Scully." He growled at her, though she could see amusement in his eyes this time. She pulled some of the tape from the protective case and set it in the candle dish she kept on her coffee table. Then solemnly struck a match and they watched the plastic crumple and melt in front of them.
"You okay, Mulder?"
"Yeah, I'm more than okay. I feel like I made an installment on earning being with you."
"I'd say you're paid in full, Mulder. In fact, I think I owe you change." And she was in his arms again.
Author's note: This was begun years ago, but we've finally gotten around to finishing it. Thanks to Kristen, who continually pushes me to do my best!